Patients at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine who require mechanical ventilation will be transferred to Antrim Area Hospital as the response to the Covid-19 surge continues.
The Northern Trust described the move as a ‘temporary arrangement’ and insisted that critical care would remain in operation at Causeway.
The Trust issued a statement to clarify its position amid rumours that the Causeway ICU and Emergency Department were set to close.
It said: “We are aware of rumours circulating about Causeway Hospital and wish to provide clarification.
“The Emergency Department at Causeway will continue to operate as normal and the hospital will also continue to maintain a critical care service (ICU) to support the provision of emergency and acute services, including much of the Northern Trust’s red flag cancer surgery.
“During the COVID-19 surge period, if a patient requires mechanical ventilation they will be stabilised and safely transferred to Antrim Area or another critical care Unit within the Northern Ireland Critical Care Network.
“This is a temporary arrangement and reflects the limited anaesthetic medical and ICU nursing workforce in Causeway for mechanical ventilation and the fact that other hospitals such as Antrim Area have been specifically set up to deal with such cases.
“To repeat, the ICU and Emergency Department at Causeway Hospital will continue to operate.”
The hospital’s inpatient paediatric ward has also been temporarily closed to admissions, with children requiring a hospital stay being managed in the Children’s Ward at Antrim Area Hospital.
Inpatient maternity services will also be transferred to Antrim, including any unscheduled attendances for pregnancy concerns, labour and birth and postnatal stay.
Outpatient antenatal care will continue to be provided at Causeway Maternity Unit from 9.00 to 5.00pm Monday to Friday, while Community Midwifery continues across the Trust in the antenatal and postnatal period.
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